HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

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jackshunger

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:05 pm

First of all, I haven't commented anon on any post in this thread, so don't attribute those quotes to me.
lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:46 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, you're a law student, right? Didn't you just finish your 1L year? And you think that you, a 1L, know better than me, a person who clerked at both the federal D. Ct. and COA levels, how clerkship hiring actually works? Okay. :lol:

Well, nothing you have said has been on point, so yeah, I going to say I know more about the hiring process. Maybe I learned it from Jeffrey Sutton directly through the mystical FedSoc network.
That wasn't your assertion. You said: "Not only is judicial ideology not an immutable characteristic, FedSoc students aren't getting clerkships at the expense of non-FedSoc students."


That's right, and you haven't offered any evidence disproving it, because your conspiracy theory that FedSoc judges are rejecting non-FedSoc students as a bloc is simply false. Hence, FedSoc students are not getting clerkships at the expense of non-FedSoc students. Rather, as I pointed out, FedSoc members and non-FedSoc members apply to different judges. For the few non-FedSoc students that do apply early to FedSoc judges, there are some that care about ideology, such as James Ho, and many others that do not. There are many threads on this forum about this.
That wasn't my assertion. You said: "Non-FedSoc students aren't applying for the same clerkships." I didn't say that FedSoc judges only hire members of FedSoc. It was you who spoke in absolutes.
Responding to a statement with "Incorrect" is the definition of an absolute and an unhelpful and unsupported one at that.
Glad to see you're finally with me. Focusing on Litman while ignoring the system as a whole isn't seeing the forest for the trees.
I've already stated I have no problems with Litman choosing to prioritize minorities over white people if that's what gets her excited about writing a recommendation and diversifying the federal judiciary. This entire disagreement is whether that is "affirmative action" - it clearly is; and whether being a member of FedSoc is comparable - it is not.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:11 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:51 pm
jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:40 pm
Hiring clerks that share your judicial views for a job that requires a judge to apply their judicial views everyday is not "discrimination" in any logical sense of the term
Except for the fact that sharing the judge's ideology isn't necessary to do the job. It is "discrimination." You're simply arguing that it is an acceptable form of it.
Discrimination implies a decision was made for unjust or prejudicial reasons. A judge thinking that a student that actually believes in originalism and textualism, thus sharing their views, is likely going to do a better job drafting decisions reliant on those ideologies that the judge is going to put their name on is hardly unjust -- it's intricately related to the job, even if it is not strictly necessary.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:16 pm

jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:11 pm
Discrimination implies a decision was made for unjust or prejudicial reasons. A judge thinking that a student that actually believes in originalism and textualism, thus sharing their views, is likely going to do a better job drafting decisions reliant on those ideologies that the judge is going to put their name on is hardly unjust -- it's intricately related to the job, even if is not strictly necessary.
A judge rejecting people because they don't share his/her ideology/politics is prejudicial.
jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:05 pm
First of all, I haven't commented anon on any post in this thread, so don't attribute those quotes to me.
What? The quotes I just posted came from YOUR post. Your name is on it.
Well, nothing you have said has been on point, so yeah, I going to say I know more about the hiring process.


I'm not the least bit shocked you think that. I'll just leave you in your hole. Have a good evening, Jack.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:25 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:16 pm
jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:11 pm
Discrimination implies a decision was made for unjust or prejudicial reasons. A judge thinking that a student that actually believes in originalism and textualism, thus sharing their views, is likely going to do a better job drafting decisions reliant on those ideologies that the judge is going to put their name on is hardly unjust -- it's intricately related to the job, even if is not strictly necessary.
A judge rejecting people because they don't share his/her ideology/politics is prejudicial.
jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:05 pm
First of all, I haven't commented anon on any post in this thread, so don't attribute those quotes to me.
What? The quotes I just posted came from YOUR post. Your name is on it.
Well, nothing you have said has been on point, so yeah, I going to say I know more about the hiring process.


I'm not the least bit shocked you think that. I'll just leave you in your hole. Have a good evening, Jack.

Your comment about "forest and the trees" was clearly directed at an anon poster and was not taken from anything I've said.

And I'd take your experience more seriously if you hadn't demonstrated you don't know what affirmative action is, you don't know how the FedSoc network operates, you don't know where law students apply to clerkships or about how FedSoc judges hire (personally, I think sharing names of these numerous FedSoc judges refusing to hire the sizeable numbers of liberals applying to them would be information the entire forum would like to know), and you apparently think judges hiring clerks with the same ideology as them for a job that requires clerks to apply a certain ideology to decisions is prejudical. By this logic the DNC only hiring Democrats is prejudicial :mrgreen:

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by enoca » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:32 pm

The word "immutable" is doing a lot of work in this thread. That's not strictly a part of the definition of affirmative action, which focuses on remedying a disadvantage based on minority/out-group status. Despite it being a common element, there is no logical reason that status has to be "immutable."

For example, innumerable articles have been written arguing that AA should be based on class and socioeconomic status rather than race. The amount of money you have is not "immutable."

FedSoc, as a program, is plainly designed to "remedy" the plight of the "minority" conservative lawyer/law student, and current members receive advantages from the program (this is undeniable; it is literally the whole point). If calling that "affirmative action" bothers you, then I think you are just too caught up in your own perceived stigma for the term.

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jackshunger

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:47 pm

enoca wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:32 pm
The word "immutable" is doing a lot of work in this thread. That's not strictly a part of the definition of affirmative action, which focuses on remedying a disadvantage based on minority/out-group status. Despite it being a common element, there is no logical reason that status has to be "immutable."

For example, innumerable articles have been written arguing that AA should be based on class and socioeconomic status rather than race. The amount of money you have is not "immutable."

FedSoc, as a program, is plainly designed to "remedy" the plight of the "minority" conservative lawyer/law student, and current members receive advantages from the program (this is undeniable; it is literally the whole point). If calling that "affirmative action" bothers you, then I think you are just too caught up in your own perceived stigma for the term.

While everything you said is true, it's not responsive to the overall point of the original conversation, which is that Litman's alleged discrimination was based entirely on race (theoretically, as I've now said at least 3 times, I doubt the story happened exactly as told), and multiple posters have encouraged this, without any class-based or socioeconomic aspects (nor could you even tell this about a person without devolving into stereotyping).

Nor am I bothered by the term affirmative action, I'm responding more to the false statements that FedSoc students are somehow "taking" spots from more qualified liberal students through some nebulous secret FedSoc network. This is certifiably false, and no one can point to a single example of this happening. Rather, as I mentioned earlier, along with some other posters, it is easier for qualified FedSoc aligned students to get clerkships earlier due to self-selection bias. As a FedSoc student with top grades without a clerkship, being a member is not infallible. Nor is this rubbish comment earlier that "every T6 FedSoc student above-median gets a clerkship 1L," true. Most FedSoc members get clerkships on the same timeline as everyone else, just applying to different judges.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:25 pm

jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:11 pm
lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:51 pm
jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:40 pm
Hiring clerks that share your judicial views for a job that requires a judge to apply their judicial views everyday is not "discrimination" in any logical sense of the term
Except for the fact that sharing the judge's ideology isn't necessary to do the job. It is "discrimination." You're simply arguing that it is an acceptable form of it.
Discrimination implies a decision was made for unjust or prejudicial reasons. A judge thinking that a student that actually believes in originalism and textualism, thus sharing their views, is likely going to do a better job drafting decisions reliant on those ideologies that the judge is going to put their name on is hardly unjust -- it's intricately related to the job, even if it is not strictly necessary.
That's not what discrimination implies. Discrimination just means choosing between people and we do it all the time (not letting people under 18 vote is discrimination. Hiring only people with 3 years' experience is discrimination). It's discrimination based on membership in a suspect class that's the problem. I agree that choosing among candidates based on ideology is a form of discrimination. The point is that judges are making choices on subjective factors, whether Fed Soc or liberal.

Also,
Affirmative action is seen as unfair (in some circles) because it directly takes one person's place away to give to another based entirely on something like race or gender.
is a really contentious definition of affirmative action. Who actually had a place that is getting "taken away"? No one is entitled to a particular job, and taking race/gender into account doesn't mean that someone gets hired "entirely" based on race/gender (which implies being hired has nothing to do with their qualifications).

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:23 pm
nixy wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:18 pm
What on earth kind of lawsuit would you imagine someone bringing against her? She’s not an employer. Are you claiming she’s obligated to write letters for anyone who asks? (And people thought I was strawmanning, lol.)

Anyway, still no evidence of racism of sexism at play.
She literally said it was his “identity” that made him entitled. I hope you bring this same energy if a prof decides not to write for a Black student with good grades in his class bc he thinks he “wouldn’t fit in” at a court. It’s all arbitrary who people relate with, right?
I missed this earlier. I frankly don't know what the prof said at however many removes we're at - we certainly don't have exact words. The student she spoke to interpreted it as something to do with entitlement and his identity. If the prof was commenting on characteristics specific to that student, that seems fair. Like "I have observed him acting entitled, and was not surprised to find out he's a rich white K-JD who's never worked a full time job," is different from "he's entitled because he's a white dude and all white dudes are entitled." (And by fair I don't mean it was fair to comment on it to the other student, but fair in the sense of it's a legit criticism.)

In any case, reverse racism isn't a thing.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:45 pm

jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:47 pm
Nor am I bothered by the term affirmative action, I'm responding more to the false statements that FedSoc students are somehow "taking" spots from more qualified liberal students through some nebulous secret FedSoc network. This is certifiably false, and no one can point to a single example of this happening. Rather, as I mentioned earlier, along with some other posters, it is easier for qualified FedSoc aligned students to get clerkships earlier due to self-selection bias. As a FedSoc student with top grades without a clerkship, being a member is not infallible. Nor is this rubbish comment earlier that "every T6 FedSoc student above-median gets a clerkship 1L," true. Most FedSoc members get clerkships on the same timeline as everyone else, just applying to different judges.
This thread is a shitshow and I'm not going to respond to most of it, but I'll push back a little on this. It's not so much a "secret network," but I clerked for a conservative 2/9/DC judge who is widely known as someone who hires fedsoc candidates (though not exclusively), and indeed when we evaluated applications we were explicitly instructed to give a moderate boost to fedsoc candidates. Me and my co-clerks applied that boost regardless of our own political leanings. It probably wouldn't get you past the grade cutoffs if you were median, but it could round someone's grades "up" in a way that didn't happen for liberal candidates or people who had no affiliation -- something like passing along a candidate whose grades were top 20% rather than top 10%, if that's what we normally required from a given school. Sometimes that also meant the judge calling up professors he or she knew -- who were mostly, though not always, "fedsoc-aligned" -- and getting their views on which candidates were the strongest that year. That was the case where we might take a second look at someone who did not meet even the softened grade cutoff, and the only examples I saw of that happening my year were for conservative candidates.

Was it self-selection? Not entirely or even mostly; we had lots of liberal applicants. Were the fedsoc applicants who got interviews or got hired weaker than their liberal counterparts in our chambers? Probably, though it's sometimes hard to compare apples to oranges from different schools, especially when one of those schools is Chicago. Was that "affirmative action" for conservatives?? Please shoot me if I'm ever tempted to debate that question.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:00 pm

jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:47 pm
As a FedSoc student with top grades without a clerkship, being a member is not infallible.
Image
You've gotta be shitting me. After all of this arrogance, I at least figured you had a clerkship lined up already. Dear god. :lol:

Good luck, Jack. I truly hope you get a clerkship if you want one.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:35 pm

nixy wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:25 pm
That's not what discrimination implies. Discrimination just means choosing between people and we do it all the time (not letting people under 18 vote is discrimination. Hiring only people with 3 years' experience is discrimination). It's discrimination based on membership in a suspect class that's the problem. I agree that choosing among candidates based on ideology is a form of discrimination. The point is that judges are making choices on subjective factors, whether Fed Soc or liberal.

Also,
Affirmative action is seen as unfair (in some circles) because it directly takes one person's place away to give to another based entirely on something like race or gender.
is a really contentious definition of affirmative action. Who actually had a place that is getting "taken away"? No one is entitled to a particular job, and taking race/gender into account doesn't mean that someone gets hired "entirely" based on race/gender (which implies being hired has nothing to do with their qualifications).

The primary definition of discrimination is unjust and prejudicial treatment based on some category - and I disagree that a judge hiring a clerk that they think would agree with them/interpret the law the way they like is discriminatory in any direction - whether from a FedSoc judge to a non-FedSoc student or vice versa. For example, I wouldn't say that RBG discriminates against FedSoc members in hiring, it makes the term meaningless.


The affirmative action point is well taken, but I think in the terms of this awful discussion, that was the context - that FedSoc members were taking spots away from more qualified non-FedSoc members. It also was the context for the prior Litman discussion - that if she has a limited number of students she can promote to judges, she'd rather promote minorities to help diversify the federal bench. That of course does not mean that said minority is unqualified, but it is a bit of a zero-sum game.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jackshunger » Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:06 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:00 pm
jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:47 pm
As a FedSoc student with top grades without a clerkship, being a member is not infallible.
Good luck, Jack. I truly hope you get a clerkship if you want one.
About the quality of comment I expected. The above post from anon made the point you may have been trying to make much more cogently. I'll sign off with a few points before a mod hopefully throws this thread into the dumpster it belongs in:

1. A judge desiring to have clerks that share his ideology is hardly discrimination given the requirements of the job. Even if it were, the ability of any potential clerk that really wants to get a FedSoc clerkship to simply profess a love of textualism and get a FedSoc membership for $5 would undermine the original comparison. You can't change your race, you can add a line on your resume.

2. It is much easier for qualified FedSoc students to get clerkships, though not "every median student at a T6 gets one." When 5% of law students are conservative and something like 40% of federal judges are appointed by Republicans, simple math ought to dictate why. Contrary to the original point, if FedSoc aligned judges don't get qualified applications from T6 schools, they usually hire top students at local schools. A quick look at Leadership Connect proves that, along with basic Linkedin searches.

3. The vast majority of FedSoc aligned chambers having FedSoc clerks is due to self-selection. There are enough comments in the specific circuit threads detailing the exact interview patterns of judges and the ideology based questions proving this, along with more than a few derisive comments about some of the judges.

4. Liberal students quite frequently get clerkships anyway with FedSoc aligned judges. The person who kicked off this conversation is an example and there are many more. The much better anon comment also shows this.

5. All that being said, I will concede that as anon stated, on a Circuit that is not hiring early and one that attracts candidates mass mailing the entire circuit as most clerkship offices advise, a qualified FedSoc member with connections might get the nod above another candidate. This is not due to some shady all-powerful FedSoc network, but due to judge preferences for clerks that agree with them and general connections, which are the most important factor in all clerk hiring. There are not enough FedSoc judges on these Circuits to make this widespread, and the specific circuit threads pretty thoroughly demonstrate this.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by aegor » Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:18 pm

nixy wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:34 pm
Like "I have observed him acting entitled, and was not surprised to find out he's a rich white K-JD who's never worked a full time job," is different from "he's entitled because he's a white dude and all white dudes are entitled."
Do you think that type of thinking is not widespread among progressive educational institutions? I taught at a high school where my colleagues would openly say that during faculty meetings.
In any case, reverse racism isn't a thing.
Sure, because any discrimination based on race is just racism. Or are you saying that non-URMs cannot be discriminated against because of race?

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by aegor » Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:24 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:05 pm
What are the essential characteristics of "affirmative action"? Conservative Republicans (through their membership in FedSoc) are given preferential treatment in the clerkship hunt based on identity.
By that definition, "identity" loses all meaning, not that "identity" was not already vacuous as a term. Students with better grades are also given preferential treatment -- are good law students an "identity" now as well? What distinguishes mere attributes or characteristics from "identities"?
Putting aside the flawed assumption there, conservative Republicans are disproportionately white and male. People can justify it to themselves however they want, but it's an advantage based on identity.
What is the identity? Conservative or white? Do Asian or black Fedsoc members have an "identity" advantage?

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by aegor » Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:28 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:03 pm
LOL. Basically, what I said was exactly right, and you're angry about that. It's no different than "affirmative action" except political identity is mutable, as I said. My knowledge of FedSoc judge hiring is directly on point. You think the judges who hire pretty much exclusively from FedSoc don't have non-FedSoc law students and lawyers interested in clerking for them? I hope not. That would be an insanely ignorant thing to believe.
Why? That is exactly my experience. Applications do not equal genuine interest (beyond clerking for anyone indiscriminately) when blanketing judges across the nation is common practice among applicants. Have you stepped on a T6 campus recently and talked to a non-FedSoc member about their impressions of FedSoc people or their willingness to clerk for a FedSoc judge?
Do you not understand how networks work? People who know the judges use their influence to boost their chosen FedSoc applicants. That doesn't mean every FedSoc applicant is getting the boost or the help. But it certainly means that a person with lesser credentials than a non-FedSoc applicant is capable of landing a "more prestigious" clerkship based on the network.
It seems like you have no idea what is actually happening. What "influence" and "network" are you speaking of, specifically? Why do you think that FedSoc chapters invariably have "influence" and "connections" that help them with judges? Asking as a FedSoc person with a clerkship lined up. All the FedSoc people from my school with clerkships as rising 2Ls have at least 4.0s.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by nixy » Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:04 am

jackshunger wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:35 pm
The primary definition of discrimination is unjust and prejudicial treatment based on some category.
Legally speaking, it's not. This was something my con law prof hammered into us from essentially day one of the pertinent section of class.
It also was the context for the prior Litman discussion - that if she has a limited number of students she can promote to judges, she'd rather promote minorities to help diversify the federal bench. That of course does not mean that said minority is unqualified, but it is a bit of a zero-sum game.
It really isn't. Even apart from the fact that one comment about one student doesn't prove Litman will only write for minorities, Litman isn't the only connected prof in the world (or even just at Michigan).
aegor wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:18 pm
nixy wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:34 pm
Like "I have observed him acting entitled, and was not surprised to find out he's a rich white K-JD who's never worked a full time job," is different from "he's entitled because he's a white dude and all white dudes are entitled."
Do you think that type of thinking is not widespread among progressive educational institutions? I taught at a high school where my colleagues would openly say that during faculty meetings.
They would literally say "all white men are entitled"? As opposed to, say, something like "white men have structural advantages not available to other social groups"? I think there is often misinterpretation at play in these kinds of discussions.
In any case, reverse racism isn't a thing.
Sure, because any discrimination based on race is just racism. Or are you saying that non-URMs cannot be discriminated against because of race?
.
Racism = prejudice + power. There is no racism against white people because there have never been actual legal and economic systems designed expressly to keep them subordinated to other groups, and therefore no legacies of that subjugation still significantly affecting their experience today. You can have prejudice against white people, sure, but it doesn't have the kind of structural impact that racism has had. (and obviously class is a thing and poverty is a thing and plenty of white people have shitty lives and have had to struggle for a lot, just not also because of their race.)

Anyway, this has wandered far afield and I know I've dragged it there, so I'm bowing out from this point.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by aegor » Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:42 am

nixy wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:04 am
They would literally say "all white men are entitled"? As opposed to, say, something like "white men have structural advantages not available to other social groups"?
Yes. Literally. No misrepresentation. And faculty literally saying that they did not want conservative students on campus. And religious people. This was a high school.
Racism = prejudice + power.
Maybe to a subset of masturbatory sociologists. Permit me to quote the OED:

"A belief that one’s own racial or ethnic group is superior, or that other such groups represent a threat to one's cultural identity, racial integrity, or economic well-being; (also) a belief that the members of different racial or ethnic groups possess specific characteristics, abilities, or qualities, which can be compared and evaluated. Hence: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against people of other racial or ethnic groups (or, more widely, of other nationalities), esp. based on such beliefs. Cf. racialism n."

The idea that "power" is necessary is, frankly, rejected by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. I will not be so cynical as to suggest that the prejudice + power(/privilege) conception arose simply to protect racial minorities from claims of racism, but the suggestion that racism = prejudice + power and nothing else is Orwellian in the extreme. Not least of all, of course, because it involves prescriptive semantics.
There is no racism against white people because there have never been actual legal and economic systems designed expressly to keep them subordinated to other groups, and therefore no legacies of that subjugation still significantly affecting their experience today. You can have prejudice against white people, sure, but it doesn't have the kind of structural impact that racism has had. (and obviously class is a thing and poverty is a thing and plenty of white people have shitty lives and have had to struggle for a lot, just not also because of their race.)

Anyway, this has wandered far afield and I know I've dragged it there, so I'm bowing out from this point.
See above. "Prejudice" has no racial dimension at all; once "prejudice" has a racial component, it by definition becomes racism. Don't like that, complain to the dictionaries and the billions of people who use that most common of definitions of "racism."

And for the record, I have no problem with what Litman allegedly did other than discussing it with another student.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by lavarman84 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:53 am

aegor wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:28 pm
Why? That is exactly my experience. Applications do not equal genuine interest (beyond clerking for anyone indiscriminately) when blanketing judges across the nation is common practice among applicants. Have you stepped on a T6 campus recently and talked to a non-FedSoc member about their impressions of FedSoc people or their willingness to clerk for a FedSoc judge?
Have you clerked? I ask that genuinely. Because until you've actually seen the volume and diversity of applications from that side, you really have no idea. I clerked for a conservative judge. We didn't just get applications from conservatives. After all, I'm not a conservative. And I applied to FedSoc judges because I had no issue clerking for somebody whose viewpoint is different from mine. I saw value in that experience. I actually might have ended up clerking for a FedSoc judge had said judge been confirmed before my judge offered me.

So no, you're not about to convince me that there aren't plenty of moderate and liberal students willing to clerk for conservative/FedSoc judges. It isn't consistent with my experiences at all. There are outspoken people who look down upon the FedSoc, but they don't represent all of us.
It seems like you have no idea what is actually happening. What "influence" and "network" are you speaking of, specifically? Why do you think that FedSoc chapters invariably have "influence" and "connections" that help them with judges? Asking as a FedSoc person with a clerkship lined up. All the FedSoc people from my school with clerkships as rising 2Ls have at least 4.0s.
Because I have friends who were/are very active in the FedSoc. They were able to punch above their weight in the clerkship hunt because of their connections within the organization and the Heritage Foundation. Do I think that's unfair? No. That's the game. I played the game too. They had their networks. I had mine.
aegor wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:24 pm
By that definition, "identity" loses all meaning, not that "identity" was not already vacuous as a term. Students with better grades are also given preferential treatment -- are good law students an "identity" now as well? What distinguishes mere attributes or characteristics from "identities"?
If you're genuinely arguing that political beliefs aren't a part of a person's identity, I'm not sure what to say. Do you think religion also isn't? Grades are an outcome. It's apples to oranges. You can't just choose to identify as an A or DS student.
What is the identity? Conservative or white? Do Asian or black Fedsoc members have an "identity" advantage?
That makes the conversation a bit more tricky. There's certainly arguments both ways on that. I'd be inclined to say yes, but it's not as cut and dried as it seems.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:05 am

EDIT: accidentally anon-posted. This is aegor.
lavarman84 wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:53 am
Have you clerked? I ask that genuinely. Because until you've actually seen the volume and diversity of applications from that side, you really have no idea. I clerked for a conservative judge. We didn't just get applications from conservatives. After all, I'm not a conservative. And I applied to FedSoc judges because I had no issue clerking for somebody whose viewpoint is different from mine. I saw value in that experience. I actually might have ended up clerking for a FedSoc judge had said judge been confirmed before my judge offered me.
None of that addresses what I said; in fact, I directly addressed most of this paragraph.

So no, you're not about to convince me that there aren't plenty of moderate and liberal students willing to clerk for conservative/FedSoc judges. It isn't consistent with my experiences at all. There are outspoken people who look down upon the FedSoc, but they don't represent all of us.
Again, completely irrelevant -- and already addressed -- by what I said.

Because I have friends who were/are very active in the FedSoc. They were able to punch above their weight in the clerkship hunt because of their connections within the organization and the Heritage Foundation. Do I think that's unfair? No. That's the game. I played the game too. They had their networks. I had mine.
So your vicarious anecdotal experience is somehow indicative of the national FedSoc experience of clerkship applications?

If you're genuinely arguing that political beliefs aren't a part of a person's identity, I'm not sure what to say. Do you think religion also isn't? Grades are an outcome. It's apples to oranges. You can't just choose to identify as an A or DS student.
Well, you can, but whether it is accurate or not is a different question. Just like how anyone can identify as "Catholic" regardless of actual adherence to any institutional Catholic beliefs. Regardless, grades are at least partly a product of choices, which is also exactly what religious beliefs and political allegiances are as well.

More broadly, your comment is telling. I actually do want you to make the case that political beliefs are part of a person's identity, because I am increasingly convinced that your conception of identity is completely subjective and BS.

That makes the conversation a bit more tricky. There's certainly arguments both ways on that. I'd be inclined to say yes, but it's not as cut and dried as it seems.
i.e. your argument falls apart as soon as your simplistic narrative is challenged.


Honestly, I am not interested in arguing for the sake of arguing. So, if it helps, here is my bottom line:
1) FedSoc generally helps people get clerkships. This is because the overwhelming majority of students at top schools are liberal. Given that America and the judiciary are not so lopsided, and some judges want some clerks who agree with them, this is hardly surprising. It strains credulity to suggest that ability to fully understand and implement a judge's ideological preferences through years of dedicated research on core legal theories is something that anyone can do regardless of ideology.
2) Litman is entitled to her preferences in who receives her recommendation. However, she -- and anyone -- should be disciplined if they discuss another student's performance in her class, grades generally, private communications with her, her reactions to their interactions, etc.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

aegor

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by aegor » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:07 am

Confirming above post was mine.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by aegor » Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:00 am

.
Last edited by aegor on Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by beepboopbeep » Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:13 am

I regretted engaging with this thread and deleted the post you responded to, so probably not gonna respond more fully. But I am not sure that anyone, let alone on this board, can give you what you're looking for re: a coherent explanation of the fedsoc network that holds true across schools. Someone above identified a sort of loose sense re: judges giving an explicit boost to fedsoc candidates. But the stricter "network" sense is going to depend a lot on what school; Chicago vs NYU vs UT-Austin fedsoc chapters will, I would guess, have different sets of connections and operate differently. I and most people who can start to answer this question have exposure to one at best.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by galba » Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:22 am

Mods pls never lock this thread, I'm having so much fun watching the dumpster fire

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by aegor » Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:24 am

beepboopbeep wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:13 am
I regretted engaging with this thread and deleted the post you responded to, so probably not gonna respond more fully.
No worries. I deleted my response.

But I am not sure that anyone, let alone on this board, can give you what you're looking for re: a coherent explanation of the fedsoc network that holds true across schools. Someone above identified a sort of loose sense re: judges giving an explicit boost to fedsoc candidates. But the stricter "network" sense is going to depend a lot on what school; Chicago vs NYU vs UT-Austin fedsoc chapters will, I would guess, have different sets of connections and operate differently. I and most people who can start to answer this question have exposure to one at best.
I agree completely with the bolded statements in particular. But that is exactly my point. Some posters, e.g. lavar, appear to be suggesting something much broader and more established than what you are. And that is just false, given my experience, which is enough to defeat the unbounded, universal claims that have been presented. I am really not saying anything more than FedSoc probably provides a boost in limited cases at schools where Fedsoc orgs have connections to particular chambers. But that is not saying much given that other orgs may have ins with particular judges as well. However, what was being presented was some sort of organized effort (or at least one indistinguishably effective across schools) that consistently benefits FedSoc people. I would love to know, for example, how many NYU or Columbia FedSoc (rising) 2Ls have clerkships compared to, say, their Chicago or UVA counterparts. If the difference is significant despite comparable interest, it seems disingenuous to say that FedSoc itself is creating the advantage, assuming you reasonably compare FedSoc applicants at each school to non-FedSoc applicants.

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Re: HLS "centrist" profs for clerkships

Post by jor01 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:09 am

This thread and its offshoot absolutely reek of 0L.

The clerkship application process, unfortunately like so much of law and life, depends on a lot of unwritten social and institutional rules. It separates those who “get it” from those who don’t. I’m certain that anyone posting here about professors using “progressive stacks” to write their letters of recommendation absolutely 100% do not “get it.” Getting professors to write letters for you is not some mechanical process like the LSAT, so of course TLS doesn’t understand it. You build a personal relationship with a professor, and they write their letter based on your relationship. They don’t wait for all of their requests to come in then rank them based on privilege points, and decide whoever has the most gets a shitty letter. Thinking this betrays a very bizarre view of the world that does not comport with reality at all.

Also, not to belabor the point, but FedSoc IS running perhaps the biggest affirmative action program in the legal universe. I’m not condemning it, it’s incredibly effective. But it’s pointless to pretend that FedSoc wasn’t set up exactly to advantage the woeful “minority” conservative law student. Claiming otherwise is silly — literally everyone knows what FedSoc is for.

Finally, I think someone mentioned in this thread or the other one that, if this “progressive stacking” were even real (which it isn’t), the only people hurt would be white male liberal applicants. That’s completely true. So all of the neurotic 0L and 1L’s worrying about coming off as too conservative in Torts and being denied a letter of rec on the basis of being a conservative lord of “facts and logic” can relax. As with virtually everything in our society, white males will continue to come out ahead. More often then not, if for no other reason than that they come from families with lawyers, they know how to speak the language, they know the unwritten rules of the social game, and judges (just like everyone else) like to hire people who resemble themselves, and who have similar experiences.

Godspeed to all of you in your righteous campaign against people who don't resemble you getting an ever so slightly bigger slice of the pie.

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